Paul Skokowski - Seminar in Philosophy of Neuroscience

Philosophy of Neuroscience Seminar

Philosophy 167D/267D
Symbolic Systems 206
Fall Quarter 2013
Professor: Paul Skokowski
Stanford University
Tuesdays, Thursdays 11am-12:15pm
Room: Wallenberg Hall 160-127
Office Hours: Friday 10-11:30 AM
Office: Philosophy Bldg 100, Rm 101B

This is a preliminary schedule and will change.

Some General Neuroscience Books:
Purves, Brains: How They Seem to Work
Rose, The Future of the Brain
LeDoux, Synaptic Self

Recommended Philosophy Books: Available online at Stanford Libraries
Dretske, Naturalizing the Mind
Tye, Ten Problems of Consciousness

Can philosophers talk with neuroscientists? We'll attempt to find out in this course.

Background: Historical Approaches to Philosophy of Neuroscience & Mind

Week 1, Tuesday Sept 24th: Course Overview
Descartes, Passions of the Soul, Sections 17-19 and 30-36
Further Suggested Reading:
Descartes, 2nd and 6th Meditations.
Hobbes, Of Sense
Skokowski, One Philosopher is Correct (Maybe). Australasian Journal of Logic, 2010, 9(1).

Week 1, Thursday Sept 26th: Logical Positivism, Behaviorism, and Epiphenomenalism
Schlick, Positivism and Realism
Huxley, On the Hypothesis that Animals are Automata
Read from "Thus far, the prepositions" through to "sum of existence." (misspelling: 'prepositions' should read 'propositions'!)
Further Suggested Reading:
Malebranche, The Search for Truth
Leibniz, The Nature and Communication of Substances (from: New System, and Explanation of the New System)
Ryle, Descartes' Myth, from Concept of Mind, 1949.
Gazzaniga, M., The Mind's Past, 1998.
Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, Sec. 293

Week 2, Tuesday Oct 1st: Identity Theory
Place, Is Consciousness a Brain Process?, British Journal of Psychology 47:44-50, 1956.
Smart, Sensations and Brain Processes, Philosophical Review 68:141-56, 1959.
Putnam, Brains and Behavior, here.

Week 2, Thursday Oct 3rd: Functionalism
Putnam, The Nature of Mental States (or: Psychological Predicates, Art, Mind, and Religion, 1965.) - here.

Week 3, Tuesday Oct 8th: Functionalism
Block, Troubles with Functionalism, in Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 9:261-325 (1978), and in Readings in the Philosophy of Psychology, Vol. 1, Ned Block (ed.) Harvard, 1980 - and here.
Read from "Once characterization of functionalism" through sections 1.1 and 1.2, ending with "Call this the Absent Qualia Argument."

Eliminative Materialism

Week 3, Thursday Oct 10th:
Paul Churchland, Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes, also here.
Gold and Stoljar, A neuron doctrine in the philosophy of neuroscience. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22(5), 1999, and here.
Patricia Churchland, Can Neurobiology Teach Us Anything About Consciousness?
Further Suggested Reading:
Paul and Patricia Churchland, Intertheoretic Reduction: A Neuroscientist's Field Guide
Jerry Fodor, Special Sciences, Synthese, 28(2), 1974, and in Ned Block (ed.), Readings in the Philosophy of Psychology, Vol. 1

Brain and the Hard Problem of Consciousness I

Week 4, Tuesday Oct 15th:
Nagel, What is it Like to be a Bat?, The Philosophical Review, LXXXIII(4), 435-450. Another version here.
Humans Can Learn to "See" With Sound, National Geographic, 2010.

Week 4, Thursday Oct 17th:
Searle, Minds, Brains, and Programs
Searle, J. Consciousness. Ann. Rev. Neurosci. 23:557-78, (2000). (Choose Annual Reviews, Neuroscience, to download).

Week 5, Tuesday Oct 22nd:
Chalmers, The Puzzle of Conscious Experience, Scientific American 273(6):80-6, 1995.
Searle, J. How to Study Consciousness Scientifically. Brain Research Reviews 16:379-387, 1998.

Week 5, Thursday Oct 24th:
Class at The Board Room, Stanford Humanities Center 3:15pm-4:30pm. * Note Different Location and Time! *
Searle, Theory of Mind & Darwin’s Legacy, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013.

Week 6, Tuesday Oct 29th: The Problem of Pain I
Fields, H., Setting the Stage for Pain.
Fields, H., Pain: An Unpleasant Topic.
Suggested Further Reading:
Fields, H., State-Dependent Opioid Control of Pain.

Week 6, Thursday Oct 31st:
Chalmers, Facing up to the Hard Problem of Consciousness, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2(3): 200-219, 1995.
David Chalmers, What is a Neural Correlate of Consciousness? in Metzinger (ed.), The Neuronal
Correlates of Consciousness, MIT, 2000.

Molyneux's Problem

Week 7, Tuesday Nov 5th:
Locke, 1693, Letter to William Molyneux, 28 March, in The Correspondence of John Locke (9 vols.), E.S. de Beer (ed.), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979, vol. 4, no. 1620.
Molyneux, W., 1688, Letter to John Locke, 7 July, in The Correspondence of John Locke (9 vols.), E.S. de Beer (ed.), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978, vol. 3, no. 1064.
Molyneux, 1693, Letter to John Locke, 2 March, in The Correspondence of John Locke (9 vols.), E.S. de Beer (ed.), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979, vol. 4, no. 1609.
Locke, 1690, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, London, printed by Eliz. Holt, for Thomas Basset. Second edition 1694. Fourth edition 1700, edited with an Introduction by P.H. Nidditch, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975. Book II, Ch. IX "Of Perception."
Sinha and Held, F1000 Medicine Reports, 4:17, September, 2012. Sight Restoration.
Held et al., Nature Neuroscience, 14:5, May 2011. The newly sighted fail to match seen with felt.

Further suggested readings:
Held, R., Visual-Haptic Mapping and the Origin of Cross-Modal Identity, Optometry and Vision Sciences, 86(6) 2009.
Wiesel TN, and Hubel DH. (1965). Comparison of the effects of unilateral and bilateral eye closure on cortical unit responses in kittens. J Neurophysiol. 28:1029-1040.

Week 7, Thursday Nov 7th: The Problem of Pain II
M. Aydede, Pain
Tye, Pains, Sec. 4.5 of Ten Problems of Consciousness.
Tye, Another Look at Representationalism about Pain
Skokowski, Is the Pain in Jane Felt Mainly in her Brain?
Further suggested readings:
Kripke, Naming and Necessity, Lecture III, 144-155. (Search for 'Descartes'. Read from the previous paragraph through the last paragraph before the Addendum.)
Previous Readings from Fields (see Week 6 above).

Brain and the Hard Problem of Consciousness II

Week 8, Tuesday Nov 12th:
M. Tye, Ten Problems of Consciousness, Ch. 1-3
F. Dretske, Naturalizing the Mind, Ch. 1
Skokowski, Review of 'Naturalizing the Mind', Mind and Language, 11(4), 1996. [Penultimate Draft - PDF]
Further Suggested Reading:
G.E. Moore, The Refutation of Idealism, Mind, 12, (1903).

Week 8, Thursday Nov 14th:
M. Tye, Ten Problems of Consciousness, Ch. 4
F. Dretske, Naturalizing the Mind, Ch. 2,3
L. Weiskrantz, I., Outlooks for Blindsight: Explicit Methodologies for Implicit Processes. Proceedings of the Royal Society London 239:247-78, (1990)

Neuroscience and Free Will

Week 9, Tuesday Nov 19th:
Class and BBQ at Skokowski House, Palo Alto, 5pm-7:30pm. * Note Different Location and Time! *
GUEST SPEAKER: BILL NEWSOME, Stanford Neuroscience
Desmurget et al., Movement Intention After Parietal Cortex Stimulation in Humans, Science 324, 2009. Here, after free registration.
Newsome, W., Neuroscience, Explanation and the Problem of Free Will, in Gazzaniga (ed.), The Cognitive Neurosciences IV. Here
Salzman et al., Cortical microstimulation influences perceptual judgements of motion direction, Nature 346(6280), 1990. Here

Week 9, Thursday Nov 21st:
GUEST SPEAKER: JOSEF PARVIZI, Stanford Medical School and Neurology
Shum et al., A brain area for visual numerals, J Neurosci. 2013; 33 (16): 6709-15.
Dastjerdi et al., Numerical processing in the human parietal cortex during experimental and natural conditions, Nature Communications 2013.

Week 10, Tues Nov 26th & Thurs Nov 28th:

Week 11, Tuesday Dec 3rd:
Jackson, Epiphenomenal Qualia, Philosophical Quarterly 32:127-36, 1982.
M. Tye, Ten Problems of Consciousness, Ch. 5.
Further suggested reading:
M. Tye, Ten Problems of Consciousness, Ch. 6,7.
Miceli, G., et al. (2001) The dissociation of color from form and function knowledge, Nature Neuroscience 4(6): 662-67.


Week 11, Thursday Dec 5th:
GUEST SPEAKER: JUDY ILLES, Neuroethics, University of British Columbia
Brief, Mackie, and Illes, Incidental Findings in Genetic Research: A Vexing Challenge for Community Consent, Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology, 2012. Here
Stevenson et al., Neuroethics, confidentiality, and a cultural imperative in early onset Alzheimer disease: a case study with a First Nation population, Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 2013, 8:15. Here

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